Charges Dropped in Crown Heights 'Pimp' Case: Report

Orthodox Woman Recanted Claim She Was Abused for Years

By Blair Thornburgh

Published June 21, 2012.
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All criminal charges will reportedly be dropped in a bizarre Brooklyn prostitution case involving an Orthodox Jewish woman.

The New York Times reported that prosecutors have told defense lawyers they plan to drop all charges against the four Crown Heights men accused of raping and pimping out the woman, starting when she was just 13.

The article, which quoted two defense lawyers, said sources close to the district attorney’s office believe the case will be dropped at a hearing on June 26.

Two men, Damien Crooks and Darrell Dula, were released in April after 10 months In jail. Prosecutors hadn’t told defense lawyers that the woman recanted the claims against the men.

Two other defendants, Jawara and Jamali Brockett, remain behind bars on separate charges.

Two prosecutors on the case, including Lauren Hersh, chief of the sex-trafficking unit, resigned after the case unraveled.

The alleged victim, now 22, was barely a teenager when the defendants allegedly raped, beat and sold her for or sex. She eventually came forward with the startling allegations, but recanted soon afterward. The men claimed that any sexual relations were consensual.

The case was potentially explosive in the racially divided neighborhood because the woman is Orthodox and the suspects are black

The district attorney’s office wouldn’t comment on the report about the expected dismissal of the charges. Lawyers for Dula and Crooks were both outspoken in their happiness with the news, though Dula’s attorney expressed dismay that “an innocent man” was kept in jail for so long.

The alleged victim’s father, speaking anonymously to protect his daughter’s identity, was upset at the decision, saying that dropping the case “sends a really bad signal to other victims.”


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